Reform UK membership grows 50% in week since Farage announces run for parliament

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage. Credit: PA

Reform UK’s membership has grown by 50% in the week since Nigel Farage decided to stand as parliamentary candidate, according to figures seen exclusively by ITV News.

Almost 14,000 people have joined Reform in the last seven days - taking membership over 45,000.

More than four thousand people joined the party on Monday June 3 alone - the day Mr Farage announced his decision to become party leader and stand in the general election.

Reform also saw an increase in membership sign-ups in the days after Rishi Sunak’s decision to skip the second half of D-Day commemorations in Normandy. 

Each new member pays £25 to join Reform UK, bringing in an extra £350,000 in the past week.

Party figures say other fundraising and significant one-off donations mean the true fundraising total in that period has topped £1 million.

Internal numbers from Reform UK showing their membership growing after Nigel Farage's decision to run for parliament. Credit: Reform UK

Unlike most political parties, Reform UK is set up as a limited company. Party members have no say over policy or in deciding its leaders.

One of the reasons Mr Sunak is believed to have called a snap election was to catch the Reform party off guard.

And while the party’s membership is growing, so too are questions about some of its candidates.

On Friday the Reform withdrew support for two of its candidates after previous racist comments were unearthed.

The party has said it will look into other allegations.

Nigel Farage told ITV News' Harry Horton he had 'no idea' why Robert Lomas wasn't campaigning with him - but would look into him allegedly saying that asylum seekers had it 'in their DNA to lie' and 'black people of Britain' were 'grifting the race card'

One candidate Reform is investigating is Robert Lomas, who is standing in Barnsley North, one of the party’s key target seats.

He’s reported to have said asylum seekers had it “in their DNA to lie” in comments posted online.

He also wrote that “Black people of Britain” were “grifting the race card” and should stop acting “like savages”, according to The Times.

As he campaigned in Barnsley on Tuesday, Mr Farage said he had “no idea” why Mr Lomas hadn’t appeared alongside him.

Mr Farage said he had only been made aware of Lomas’ comments that morning but said “I’m a little bit alarmed by it” and promised to “have a good look at it."

“This election’s been thrust upon us with almost no time to do vetting, to do any organisation. Of course, we’ll find people saying things they shouldn’t say," he added.

ITV News has contacted Mr Lomas for comment.

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